Elder law attorneys help you to prepare for the future in many different ways. One of the things that you will need to make sure you are prepared for is funding your retirement. Today, defined benefit pension plans — pensions where an employer provides you with guaranteed income for life — are very rare, especially in the private sector.
If your employer won’t provide guaranteed income to you after your retirement, you’ll need to make sure you have enough income to sustain you throughout potentially decades of not working. You’ll also need to make sure you do everything possible to protect the retirement nest egg you’ve built.
Making Plans for Income as a Senior
As a senior, you likely will need to stop working either because you get too old and physically infirm to work, because you cannot find a job any more, or because you are simply tired of being in the workforce. You’ll need income to support you when you are not working any more. Common sources of retirement income can include:
- Social Security benefits: Social Security benefits are a common source of income that seniors rely on to provide some or all of their retirement income. Social Security benefits can be claimed as long as you’ve earned enough work credits, or can be claimed on a spouse’s work record. You can even claim spousal benefits if you’re divorced, as long as you were married for at least 10-years. Benefits are based on a formula factoring in your highest 35-years of earnings, adjusted for wage growth. Average benefits in 2018 will be around $1,404, according to the Social Security Administration.
- Pensions: Employee pensions were once a common and important source of retirement income. Defined benefit pension plans were provided by employers and offered workers a set amount of income throughout the entirety of their retirement years. Workers were guaranteed pension income, so they could rest assured they’d have money coming in throughout the entirety of their retirement. However, most employers no longer offer defined benefit plans and instead make defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, available instead. With a defined contribution plan, workers make contributions — which are often matched by employers — and they live off investments and gains they made. However, there is no guarantee the invested money will provide enough income or last throughout retirement.
- Investment income: Because investment income is an important source of retirement income, you’ll want to make sure you invest throughout your career to save enough for retirement. You can put money into a 401(k), but you may not have access to one at work or your 401(k) may offer limited opportunities for investing. Another option is to open tax-advantaged retirement accounts on your own. You could open a traditional IRA to invest with pre-tax dollars or a Roth IRA so you can withdraw money from your retirement account tax-free. There are rules for IRA investing and eligibility limitations, so you’ll need to get the right legal help to understand what types of retirement accounts you should be investing in.
Zimmer Law Firm can provide you with assistance understanding the rules for investing in tax-advantaged retirement accounts like IRAs so you can save as much as possible and become a financially secure senior. We can also provide assistance in protecting the assets you own so they can support you as a senior and can allow you to leave a desired legacy for loved ones.
Getting Help from Elder Law Attorneys
Elder law attorneys at Zimmer Law Firm will be there for you to help you in making sure the assets you’re working hard to acquire are as safe as possible.
Our legal team has successfully provided representation to many clients in and around the Cincinnati area, and we can put our legal knowledge and skill to work for your case. To find out more about the ways in which our firm can help with all of your elder law needs, give us a call at 513.721.1513 today.